Tag Archives: dementia

New law failing to deliver for England’s unpaid carers

A year on

A year on from the introduction of the Care Act, a review by the UK’s largest charity for unpaid carers has found that the new act has made little or no difference to the 5.4 million carers in England.

Carers Trust surveyed and spoke to unpaid carers looking after their sick or disabled family and friends, and to health and social care professionals to find out how well they thought the new act, which entitles carers to an assessment of their needs, was working.

The review, led by former care minister Paul Burstow, found a ‘mixed picture’ with examples of good practice, but in many cases found that the act had made no difference to carers. In some instances, carers hadn’t heard about the measures that had been introduced, which could support their needs and well-being as a carer.

The new Care Act came into force on 1 April 2015 and gave carers rights on an equal footing to the people they care for.

Their new rights include taking into consideration the carer’s health and wellbeing, family relationships and their need to balance their home life with their education or work. If they are found to be eligible they are entitled to support, sometimes funded by their local authority. In addition, all local authorities must provide advice and information and prevent carers’ needs from getting worse.

Former Care Minister, Professor Paul Burstow said: “For many of the carers who responded to Carers Trust’s calls for evidence, the response was stark – the act had made no difference. It was news to some that there were new rights as they simply hadn’t heard of them.

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WRAP offers a lifeline to sufferers and carers

We need to talk about dementia – Dementia Awareness Week launches today

The numbers tell the story: almost two in every 100 people between 65 and 69 have dementia. Among those just 20 years older – 85 to 89 – that figure is one in five.

In Norfolk alone, up to 17,000 are affected. Over the next decade, that number is expected to double. It is a condition it is hard to escape.

Throughout Dementia Awareness Week, the EDP and Norwich Evening News will be highlighting ground-breaking research into the condition, focusing on how people can reduce their risk of developing it, and how our region can support those living with it.

Willie Cruickshank, director of the Norfolk and Suffolk Dementia Alliance, said the issue was one which should be a personal responsibility for every one of us.

“There is a reticence to talk about dementia but we need to start having these discussions,” he said.

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